There’s this theory in robotics called the Uncanny Valley. It’s now well acknowledged in computer graphics too. It’s when a human character looks and moves almost realistically lifelike yet not quite perfect. And this somethings-not-quite-right can be a bit jarring to watch. So in 3D animation, unless you can depict a human in flawless reality, you shouldn’t even bother. Take a step back.
Pixar know this. They can do perfectly realistic landscapes, seascapes, objects, hair etc – but they keep their distance from lifelike humans and instead have fun with caricatures. Many feature length movies have completely flopped because they dared to walk the valley, like Final Fantasy.
Now meet Emily.
The first question is has she climbed out of the valley. And the second one is, what’s the point? Why not use real actors? Unless you’re talking about actual in-game playing. That could be pretty amazing but I reckon it’d be fad you’d tire of quickly. Of course this technology will most likely be used for some weird-assed porn.
It’s a bit like photorealistic paintings? What’s the point? I still wow at the technical ability of photorealistic paintings but they’re a bit pointless really.
I do enjoy a good dose of twisted hypereality though. Like that Spanish guy who does it all in biros. Juan Franciscoasas, and of course Ron Mueck’s sculptures fucking rock. And there’s a huge photorealistic painting of an old woman in some gallery in Washington DC that I love – it’s made from nothing but thumbprints (and can *not* be found after twenty frigging minutes with Inspector Google).
But when it comes to straight up painting, give me Kandinsky’s bubbles, De Chirico’s dummies, a fractured nude descending a staircase, or Bacon’s twisted torsos any day of the week. Hell even hit me with some Rothko. And what do you mean you could paint that!? Well you didn’t! And more to the point, you couldn’t. Unless he picked out the colours and mixed them for you but you never even considered that monumental part of the process, did you dipwad!?
Way to go on a tangent AND state the obvious.